WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — If you could retire today, what would you do? A pair of Wichitans are using some of their extra free time to preserve aviation history.

“I don’t have a job, so gotta do something,” said Wayne Lawrence.

Lawrence, 77, started volunteering at the Kansas Aviation Museum about 13 years ago.

“I paint parts and kind of get things straightened out. I have painted most of the airplanes out here. When you go in the main building, the big Steerman upstairs, I painted that. It is one of the first bigger airplanes I painted,” Lawrence explained. “It’s enjoyable. When you do it, you get a sense of accomplishment because these airplanes were. Basically, people threw them away.”

Volunteer Wayne Lawrence sands the wing of a plane.

Lawrence is one of several dozen volunteers at the museum who dedicate their time as tour guides, gift shop attendants, and restoration workers.

“I’ve got a lot of friends out here. Everybody seems of the same kind of mind get out there and do things,” Lawrence said.

“Everybody has a particular specialty. We have got painters, welders, all of us working together is what makes it work,” said Ed Scott, another museum volunteer.”

Scott, 80, started volunteering in 2003 after he retired from Beechcraft. He specializes in woodworking and fabric covering, having helped restore numerous aircraft to their decades-old glory.

“I come out here every Wednesday. You know, to work with the rest of the crew,” Scott said. “I have been working on airplanes most of my life, and it brings back memories, and I kind of got an attachment to these old airplanes.”

While Scott and Lawrence may have different expertise, they are on the same mission: keep Wichita’s rich aviation history alive.

“Hopefully, I will leave some kind of legacy even long after I am gone. People come out here, and they can see the work that we have done,” Scott said.

The Kansas Aviation Museum is always looking for volunteers. Click here for more information.